Father charged after student brings explosive materials to Newaygo HS

Michigan

WHITE CLOUD, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities have charged a Newaygo-area man after his son brought homemade explosives to Newaygo High School Monday and they went off, injuring the teen.

David Robert Daniel Saylor, 33, was charged Tuesday with a count of manufacture or possession of a Molotov cocktail and a count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to a release from the Newaygo County Prosecutor’s Office.

During arraignment in a White Cloud courtroom Tuesday, prosecutors said Saylor is the teen’s father.

“Based on the discussion with the 16-year-old, it’s clear that in conjunction with his father, he had been making and exploding improvised explosive devices at their home on 95th Street in Brooks Township,” Newaygo County Prosecutor Worth Stay told the judge. “A search warrant was executed where a vast array of different explosive devices were found and different materials.”

Investigators at a home on 95th Street off Spruce Avenue southeast of Newaygo on March 9, 2021, as they continue to investigate a student who brought a homemade explosive device to school the previous day.

The Michigan State Police Bomb Squad safely detonated the explosive materials they found at the home on 95th Street off of Spruce Avenue southeast of the city of Newaygo Monday night and Tuesday morning. The agency added that unstable materials were countercharged. The bomb squad remained at the property Tuesday afternoon, making sure the area was safe for other investigators.

MSP Spl. Lt. Michelle Robinson said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would be looking into exactly what the explosive materials were.

The 16-year-old student who brought the explosives to the school was severely injured when they went off Monday morning. The prosecutor said in court that the teen lost his thumbs.

A few other students sustained minor injuries, and they and the teacher went to the hospital to be checked out.

While authorities initially said a device was involved, the prosecutor clarified that the student had explosive materials, not a device.

MSP told News 8 Monday afternoon that the student did not understand how big an explosion the materials could cause. Investigators reiterated Tuesday that the detonation was accidental. Police and school officials agree the student did not intend to attack anyone, but rather that he demonstrated what Newaygo Public Schools Superintendent Peg Mathis described as a “serious lack of judgment.”

Judge Melissa Dykman had strong words for Saylor, saying he had acted recklessly and prompted fear throughout Newaygo County.

“It’s disconcerting to the court the choices you’ve made as a parent that have put not only your children at risk, but those of community,” she said. “Quite honestly, sir, for a period of time, there was number of people fearful for their safety and their children no matter what school they went to in this county.”

She also noted the other explosives found at Saylor’s home threatened the safety of his family and his neighbors.

Dykman set Saylor’s bond at $100,000. If he does post bond and is released, he may not have any contact with his son.

Saylor is expected back in court March 18 for a probable cause conference and again March 25 for a preliminary examination.

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